A roller-coaster ride of an election campaign, buffeted by a superstorm and missteps on both sides, approached its conclusion on Tuesday as America decided if President Barack Obama gets a second term or Republican challenger Mitt Romney will move into the White House in January. In a contest reflecting the nation's deep political chasm, Obama and Romney ran dead even in final polls that hinted at a result rivaling some of the closest presidential elections in history. A heavy turnout was projected.
Long lines and sporadic problems with voting machines caused snags in some key states during Tuesday's closely watched U.S. election.
What to watch for on Election Night.
It's been a grueling campaign. You just want to sit down with a bowl of popcorn and find out who will be president for the next four years. So when will we know? Technically speaking -- who the heck can say? With a race that went into Election Day neck and neck, and plenty of questions about how key battleground states will play out, it's reasonable to assume a long night is in store. It could be even longer if the election ends up balanced on the edge of a razor-thin vote in Ohio, or if voting irregularities spark legal challenges in any of a number of critical states. Either situation could drag out the decision until mid-November or even longer, analysts say. Whatever happens, we'll start to get some indicators shortly after the first wave of poll closings, at 7 p.m. ET. Battleground states in that group include Virginia, with Ohio following at 7:30 p.m.
Hours after the presidential candidates finished their final rallies, several states on the East Coast began opening their voting booths Tuesday morning. With the exception of two small towns in New Hampshire, both of which opened shortly after midnight, Vermont became the first state to kick off Election Day when it opened some polls as early as 5 a.m. ET. Others began casting their ballots at 6 a.m. ET in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and the rest of New Hampshire. Vice President Joe Biden cast his ballot Tuesday morning, shortly before 7:30 a.m. ET, at Alexis I. DuPont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, his home state. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is schedule to vote in Belmont, Massachusetts around 8:30 a.m. ET. Check out the list below for other times.
It took Mitt and Ann Romney about three minutes to cast their Election Day votes at a Belmont, Massachusetts polling place Tuesday.
The final curtain isn't likely to fall on this presidential election until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but President Barack Obama's moment to exit the stage came more than 24 hours earlier.
Mitt Romney did not spend the final hours of the presidential race in his hometown, as is traditional for a candidate, but instead embarked upon a last-minute push for votes in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Mitt Romney's campaign plane and Air Force Two, which carries the vice president, crossed paths at a Cleveland airport Tuesday morning after Joe Biden made a previously-unannounced but long scheduled stop in Ohio, according to pool reports.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan united in Ohio on Election Day to thank volunteers and pick up lunch at Wendy's.
Romney campaign officials held several calls Tuesday with Republican opinion makers in Washington trying to reassure them, one participant confirmed to CNN. The officials said they believed Mitt Romney was narrowly ahead in Ohio, the source said.
As President Barack Obama awaits his fate for the next four years in Chicago, his grandmother living in rural Kenya wished her grandson and the American people well on Election Day.
Vice President Joe Biden further fanned the flames of speculation Tuesday over a possible 2016 presidential bid.